The Crisis of Development in Africa and Africa's Sub-Regional Development Institutions: Case Study of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

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This paper captures the challenges of sustainable democracy confronting Africa and the prospect of using the NEPAD programme to addressing those challenges. Democracy has remained a familiar concept of political discourse in pre and post- colonial Africa because it was believed that the realization of development and socially significant issues such as accountability, social justice and respect for human right which are the major hallmark of good governance, can only take place adequately within the confines of credible democratic space. However, in spite of its centrality to the development process, democracy as currently practiced in Africa is characterized more by democratic deficits rather than dividends thus leading to underdevelopment, corruption and political disputes, amongst others. This research which relies on secondary sources essentially finds that the pre-NEPAD political setting was characterized more by democratic reversal due to frequent military intervention and stage-managed elections and that the post-NEPAD’s democratic settings have recorded some measure of democratic consolidation even though many democratic transition programmes are still riddle with various electoral malpractices. The research equally revealed the fact that the post-NEPAD democratic electoral process has improved tremendously in quality, glamour and content delivery in many African countries due to the introduction of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) into the electoral process. In spite of these relative achievements, the post-NEPAD democratic regimes have failed to bring about sustainable development in many African countries due to the dictatorial and prebendal nature of African politics.



Development, Sub-Regional, Economic, West Africa